The World Series!

Football Recap, Week 7. Feh. Not only did I pick badly (I don’t even want to count), but Hernandez put his picks into a comment, very lame, which does our forefather Keith, uh, unproud. (Misproud? Unproud?) You’re slackin, boy. The state can take that kid away from you as fast as they gave it to you. And by ‘state’ I mean ’12 year-old sister’.

Tomorrow night the World Series begins! It’s the Philadelphia Phillies, the world’s worst baseball team ever, versus the Tampa Bay Rays, who are so cute and underdoggedy you want to take ’em all fishin’ then scratch their bellies.

First the good news — there is no New York or Boston team in this World Series. The fourth time this decade. And since the Cubs and Dodgers are gone too, Fox Sports stands to lose a shitload of money on ad revenues this year. Which means maybe they’ll try to back out of their contract and stop showing the World Series before 2013. And then I wouldn’t have to ear-bleed all over my pillows from hearing Joe Buck and Tim McCarver’s dung dirge.

Tampa Bay is the kind of team that makes baseball fans feel good about themselves. A bunch of no-name kids huckered themselves up, took no guff from no man, hitched ’emselves toget’ and saddled up a near-championship season, knockin’ off foes like they was berries on a branch with the butt of their always unloaded rifle. Safety first!

That’s why I’m rooting for the Phillies. Having lived in Philadelphia for 6 years, let me remind of you the main reason why professional sports exist – to keep men out of prison. Nowhere is this clearer than in the fair city of Philadephia, where the line between prisoner and professional athlete is drawn in chalk on the field–if you can beat security, you probably make the team, whether it be Phillies, Eagles, 76ers or Flyers.

Competition has always been in our guts; the fire that laps at the inside of our bellies like so many whiskies and pimp steaks. And in Philadelphia, I think this team wants to give their city a championship. They’re not nobler than other franchises, I just think they’re plain scared of what will happen if they don’t. soon.

The last Phillies championship was in 1980, and the last Philadelphia championship in any major sport was 1983, when Dr. J led the Sixers to the last time in Philadelphia sports history when anyone poured champagne over someone’s head without breaking it over that same head 5 seconds later.

This is astonishing. Philly is the 5th biggest metropolitan area in the country. Here are the Top 10 with their last championship in any of the 4 major sports (see how I counted hockey, Hernandez?)

1: New York. Last championship: New York Giants, like a few months ago, 2008.

2: Los Angeles. Last championship: 2007, Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Also, the Lakers used to be pretty good.

3: Chicago. Last championship: 2005, White Sox. That doesn’t include the Northsiders, I guess, but the Cubs are trash. And the Bulls used to be somewhat apt at basketball.

4: Dallas. Last championship; all the way back to ’99 for the Dallas Stars! (Why does Dallas have a hockey team? Does Vassar have a prostitution ring?)

5: Philadelphia. 25 YEARS AND COUNTING.

6: Houston. Gets kinda close, the last title was in 1995 for the Rockets. Still, 12 years less than Philly. Really, another point in favor of Philly – Houston desperately deserves this distinction. If I had $100 billion, I couldn’t build a theme park called ‘Dead-End Awfulness’ and make it worse than Houston. And if I had that kinda cash, you’d be damn sure I’d build an amusement park.

7: Miami – 2006 (The Heat), plus a 2003 World Series ring.

8: Wash D.C. – The Redskins won a Super Bowl in 1992, 16 years ago. But Washington, D.C. is not a city. It’s a pimp. And Baltimore is its bitch.

9: Atlanta. Won a World Series in 1995. Only one title in the city’s history, which would be sad if Atlanta hadn’t lost four other World Series that decade, when they were the absolute best team in baseball.

10: Boston. Don’t get me started. I think it’s been about 12 weeks since they last won something.

I’m not saying it’s the Phillies’ year; the Rays showed they were tougher than the Yankees when they quit choking and shut the Red Sox down in Game 7, and the few hundred who turn in will probably be rooting for them. They’re a gutsy team. But by ending Philadelphia’s dry stretch, that city might get saved and live to breathe another decade.

Also, a Phillies win would cause them to roll over next year so the choke artist Mets can back into the playoffs in 2009. Go baseball!

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